Mizmor L'David Anthology 

 

Poetica Magazine
                                           Contemporary Jewish Writing

Julie R. Enszer is the author of Avowed, Lilith’s Demons, Sisterhood, and Handmade Love. She is editor of The Complete Works of Pat Parker, Sister Love, and Milk & Honey: A Celebration of Jewish Lesbian Poetry

Read more at www.JulieREnszer.com.

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Tirza Illuminates the Lamed-Vavniks
Julie R. Enszer

It is impossible to illuminate

the lamed-vavniks

they are not individual letters


painted

or leafed with gold

not an ancient manuscript


locked up

preserved and restored

they are collectively


a living masterpiece

and individually

they are merely and exceptionally


thirty-six humans

(now thirty-six women)

primarily though not always Jews


scattered around the world

(G!d likes geographic diversity

It keeps the seraphim hopping)


Overall in human history

it is impossible to generalize

the tsadiks


they evolve

as G!d evolves through their

dialogue with humans


if angels were inclined to scholarship

which by and large

we are not—


it is more a human endeavor

we are not as forms

intellectual


we are more operational (like me)

or emotional (like Schlomo

remember his argument with G!d


about the first female tsadik
he did not offer facts data or logic
he just felt women could not be tsadiks)
 
Even if we angels were scholars
studying and theorizing
about who the lamed-vavniks are
 
we would have little to say
the lamed-vavniks are all different
singular
 
and though they fill
my world with their dramas
their daily dalliances
 
though they make my world colorful
over time they are only a few
in the vastness of humanity
 
in the thick book of the world
produced by scribes
they are only minor illuminations